MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh! Can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has a nineteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and seventeen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.
What inspires you to write?
I’m often inspired by music. TRAPPED UNDER ICE was inspired by several Nickelback songs, in fact, my whole writing career is, in a way. I take the line from “If Today Were Your Last Day” seriously–“Don’t take the free ride in your own life.” If you want it, you have to go for it. I’ve also had the inspiration be just the title. ABANDON ALL HOPE was the name of a book that my character Beth wrote in TRAPPED UNDER ICE and became my second rock star romance. DAMAGE DONE began with just one line–“Even through bloodshot eyes he could tell she was different.” It just sort of popped in my head and I built off of it. Who would have bloodshot eyes and how would the girl they saw be different?
Tell us about your writing process.
I let the story take me where it wants to go. It plays out like a movie in my head and then I just write it down. I’m a very visual person. I am thinking of taking a more deliberate approach somewhere down the line to see what kind of book that creates for me. We shall see…
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I mostly listen to them…but may put them in a situation or two to see what they do. 😉
What advice would you give other writers?
It’s cliche, but I’ll use Winston Churchill’s words, “Don’t give up.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I first published with a small press, but then realized I was doing all the work and only getting 30% of the profits. They provided a cover, which I had little say in, and editing, which frankly wasn’t the best, and formatting, all of which I could hire out for myself. It took me a while to find the right editor and proofreader, but I got extremely lucky with my cover artist. He is brilliant, inexpensive, easy to work with, and fast. I adore his work! I was looking for something a little different from the average and I feel like he delivered. And still delivers, every time! I’m very excited about my next cover…
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t have the intelligence or information to predict much along these lines, but I can tell you what my gut says. We’ve already seen some major book retailers go out of business. I feel traditional publishing needs to wake up and make some changes or they will go under, too. If you’re taking 70% of someone’s profits, you better be able to produce for them. Just my two cents. 🙂
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
romance, romantic suspense
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Both eBook and Print